Several disabled workers represented by the Herndon Law Firm ABRAMS LANDAU, Ltd. came to watch a difficult comp case at the Virginia Workers Compensation Commission Northern Virginia Regional Office in Manassas. Difficult, because the injured worker was hurt in an accident with no witnesses. This experienced Roto Rooter Man was making a "house call" when he fell off the back of his special service truck. And, like many Landau Law Shop clients, he tried to keep working despite increasing pain and swelling.
For only the second time in his career, Landau arrived at court to find the insurance company had forgotten to notify their attorney of the date, time and place set for the Hearing ! However, just because insurance defense counsel "no shows" for trial does not mean that the injured worker automatically wins. In fact, after submitting his trial brief, presenting his client’s testimony and introducing supporting exhibits without any objections, Landau was surprised when the Deputy Commissioner of the Workers Compensation began a lengthy cross examination of the disabled plumber. The comp judge asked a number of questions about the ailing gentleman’s marketing activities, work search records and online job search efforts. Under the Virginia Workers Compensation law, an injured worker who is not totally disabled must look for light duty" work that he or she can perform" within their remaining physical abilities or risk being cut off from further weekly wage loss benefits. At this Prince William Hearing, the other Abrams Landau clients saw first-hand how a comp judge can take an active role in the trial and ask questions of witnesses and disabled workers with on the job accidental injury and occupational disease claims.